A friend posted this quote by C.S. Lewis on Facebook today, “ A landscape, a symphony, a meeting with friends…. Our Father refreshes us on the journey but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.” It is one of my favorite quotes and served as a reminder today that we are indeed created for another place. I have been pondering the abundant blessings in my life this week and it occurred to me that the things in my life that are truly blessings are the things that remind me of things eternal.

Some of the blessings for which I have been thankful this week are:

Beauty. I seem to be surrounded by beauty; there are white fields of cotton, red and yellow leaves, golden grass, and the vast expanse of the West Texas sky. I love this time of year, but the truth is there is beauty to be found in any season – we only have to pause and look. And all things beautiful are merely a reflection of the One who created them.

Health. I am reminded that I have much to be thankful for when it comes to my health, and even though my shoulder aches a bit after helping my son haul hay this morning, it only serves to remind me that we will someday leave this earthly body that decays while the inward man is renewed day by day.

Family. I can’t even start to express my gratitude for my family. I am blessed with three wonderful kids who are all now young adults. I would not be who I am today were it not for my beautiful mother who continues to bless me daily. I have in-laws who still include me in family functions and brothers who are both married to sweet wives whom I love as sisters. I am blessed with nieces and nephews and cousins in abundance that all hold a special place in my heart. But above and beyond all of this there is even more – I am a child of God who loves me and died for me. And like the words of that old song, my heart joyfully sings, “I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God…”

Friends. There are not words to describe the love that has flowed into my life through the words and actions of my friends. I have friends who encourage me, talk with me, weep with me, laugh with me, and walk and talk the gospel with me!

Time. I know we are all given 24 hours each day, but there are days, months, and seasons in our life that the responsibilities that are ours consume every minute of those 24 hours. However, this year I have been blessed with the gift of time; I am in a season in which my children are independent and take care of me more than I serve them, and I have been graciously provided a job that does not consume vast amounts of my time each month. I have used this time to fulfill one of my hearts greatest desires – write a book. I just finished the final draft yesterday and I am finally ready to for an editor and thanks to the blessings of friends, I have some good places to start looking for one.

A Heavenly Father. I have listed this one last, but it is first and last and everywhere in-between. As I mentioned on my About me page, of all the many facets of my life and all the many blessings, none are of any value were it not for the Grace of God that holds them all together. Were it not for the redeeming blood that covers my sin all would be for naught, and it is only through Christ in me that there is any hope of glory. It is by His grace alone that any good comes in or flows through my life, and so to Him alone is all the glory.

And as for the things that I count as suffering in this life – the bad days, flat tires, achy joints, taxes, bills, inflation, grief, death, sorrow, and pain – they are simply the blessings that remind me there is another place.